According to Countryaah data, about 30,000 years ago, the indigenous people of Australia began their expansion across the Pacific. In the 9th century they were scattered throughout practically all of Polynesia. Polynesians from Samoa and Tonga arrived in the archipelago, which they called “Funafuti” – the present Tuvalu.
In the 16th century, the islands were discovered by Europeans, but they did not settle due to the lack of riches that could be extracted. One of these explorers named the archipelago the name Ellice Islands.
In 1850-75, thousands of men were captured by slave traders and sent to the phosphate mines (guano) in Peru and the salt terminals in Chile. The consequence was that the population dropped from 20,000 to 3,000. As slave suppliers, the Pacific Islands had the advantage of having direct links to markets on the Pacific coast of Latin America.
In 1865, another invasion took place – of British and North American missionaries. From about 1892 the islands were a British patronage. In 1915, together with the neighboring Gilbert Islands, they were transformed into the colony of Gilbert and Ellice Islands (see also: Kiribati). However, the union between the two archipelagos was quite random. In a referendum in 1974, 90% voted for separation and this was carried out in October 1975. The first free elections took place in October 1975, when the number of seats in parliament increased from 8 to 12. Toaripi Lauti was named prime minister.
On October 1, 1978, the archipelago became independent and adopted the name Tuvalu, which in the local language means “eight together” – referring to the eight of the country’s inhabited islands. They gained autonomy from London, but instead became closely associated with Australia, which exerts considerable influence on the country’s economy.
According to thesciencetutor, a friendship agreement signed with the United States in April 1979, the superpower waives its claims regarding the islands of Nurakita, Nukulaelae, Funafuti and Nukufetau. However, the deal has not yet been ratified in the North American Senate.
On December 8, 1981, Lauti was succeeded by the Prime Minister’s post by Tomasi Puapua. In September 1985 the third elections were held and Doctor Puapua was re-elected. In February 1986, the government condemned the French nuclear test program on the island of Muroroa in French Polynesia, and denied a French warship access to the country. It had come on a “friendship mission”.
One of the country’s most important sources of foreign currency revenue is the sale of stamps to philatelists worldwide. The country is the smallest in terms of both surface and population among the Least Developed Countries. Fishing rights for foreign fishing vessels provide the country $ 100,000 in revenue annually.
A UN report on the greenhouse effect and global warming states that Tuvalu is one of the countries that can disappear into the sea as a result of pollution and rising sea levels – unless chalk is taken to slow development.
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Due to the lack of natural resources, the country’s limited population and the lack of internal savings and capital, the country is largely dependent on aid from abroad – especially from Australia – to finance its general state and development budget. In 1989, 10% of the state’s revenue came from taxes on returned funds from that quarter of the population – especially young people – working on neighboring islands or in the phosphate mines.